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Dreamgirls (2006) Poster

(2006)

Trivia

Beyoncé Knowles auditioned in full costume, and performed with choreography. She has said she considers this her first film as an actress.
Jump to: Cameo (5) | Spoilers (1)
Screenwriter and Director Bill Condon instructed Jennifer Hudson to show up late on the set every day, to better understand Effie's diva behavior.
The film, and the original Broadway musical, are based heavily on The Supremes (later known as, "Diana Ross & The Supremes"). Curtis Taylor, Jr. represents Motown Founder Berry Gordy, Jr. Both men worked in the automotive industry before focusing on music, and integrated aspects of the automotive business into the music making process. Both were romantically involved with the lead singer of the most successful female group on their label. Effie's departure from the group, closely matches Florence Ballard, who was known to have a much more powerful voice than Diana Ross.
Jennifer Hudson beat out seven hundred eighty-two other actresses for the role of Effie White, including her former American Idol (2002) rival, Fantasia Barrino.
Anika Noni Rose had to wear six-inch heels while filming the title musical number, to appear in frame with Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer Hudson. Rose is 5'2", Knowles is 5'7", and Hudson is 5'9".
Jennifer Hudson gained twenty pounds to play the role of Effie White.
Bill Condon scheduled "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" as the last scene, to give Jennifer Hudson the most time possible to grow into her character.
After the success of the stage production, the film version went through several revisions. In the late 1980s, Whitney Houston was considered for the role of Deena. Negotiations fell through, when Houston insisted that Deena sing some of Effie's songs, specifically, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going". In the early 1990s, after the success of What's Love Got to Do with It (1993), Joel Schumacher was set to direct, with Lauryn Hill as Deena and Kelly Price as Effie. The project was shelved again, after several musical biopics failed at the box-office. After the success of Chicago (2002), the producers approached Bill Condon, who had long considered an adaptation his dream project.
Jamie Foxx initially declined to play Curtis Taylor, Jr. because the salary offered was insufficient. Denzel Washington was offered the part after Foxx, but declined, because he cannot sing. Once Beyoncé Knowles and Eddie Murphy were attached to the production, Foxx rethought his decision and accepted the role.
Effie walks in with an album on "Rainbow Records," Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Great March To Freedom," recorded in Detroit, June 23, 1963. This is one of the few real record covers in the movie. It was released as Gordy 906, a Motown label.
This is the only film to ever lead in the number of nominations in a particular year (in this case eight) at the Academy Awards, but receive no Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
Will Smith and Terrence Howard were considered for the role of Curtis Taylor, Jr.
When Curtis tells the girls that they're going to be their own act, he says that he's gotten Jolly Jenkins to do their choreography. This is a reference to Cholly Atkins, the famous tap-dancer (part of the tap-dancing duo of Coles and Atkins), who did most of the choreography for The Supremes.
During the Christmas party scene, Teddy Campbell is listening outside the room where Deena, Curtis, Michelle, C.C., Jimmy, and Lorrell are listening to the recording of "Patience." Curtis's Aunt Ethel tells Teddy to get back to the party. Teddy answers, "I'm waiting for Deena." This is a reference to the close friendship between Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.
Loretta Devine, who plays the jazz singer in the wake scene, created the role of Lorrell Robinson in the original Broadway production in 1981. Hinton Battle, who plays Curtis' aide Wayne, was also a replacement for the role of James "Thunder" Early in the original production.
Beyoncé Knowles lost weight, during a break in filming, to make herself look younger for the teenage and early years of Deena Jones.
Spike Lee considered directing the film in the early '90s, with Jasmine Guy as Deena Jones.
The character "Effie" was originally created for Nell Carter in 1978, when the original stage show was in its experimental stages as "Project Number 9." Audio tapes of Carter rehearsing numbers such as "One Night Only" still exist in bootleg form and are constantly recirculated.
Film debut of Jennifer Hudson.
In one scene, Curtis forces the Dreams to record "Heavy" as a riot rages outside in the streets of Detroit. This is a references to the 1967 Detroit riot, during which Motown's studios remained semi-operational.
Bill Condon attended the opening night performance of the original Broadway production at the Imperial Theatre, New York City, on December 20, 1981.
When The Dreams stand in front of a huge replica of their first album, "Meet The Dreams," the cover art is an almost identical replica of The Supremes 1965 album "More Hits by the Supremes." The photos of The Dreams on that cover are nearly identical poses from The Supremes 1966 album "The Supremes A Go-Go."
The jokes that Bobby Slayton tells in the Miami night club were taken verbatim from Don Rickles's 1968 album "Hello, Dummy!"
Effie is supposed to be older than Michelle. In real-life, Sharon Leal is nine years older than Jennifer Hudson.
Usher Raymond was the first choice for the role of C.C. White, but turned it down, due to scheduling conflicts. Omarion Grandberry was also briefly considered.
The film was Eddie Murphy's first for Paramount since Vampire in Brooklyn (1995). Murphy formerly had a contract with the studio.
The original Broadway production of opened at the Imperial Theater on December 20, 1981, ran for 1,521 performances, and was nominated for the 1982 Tony Awards for Best Musical and Score, and won for the Best Book of a Musical.
Shipped to theaters under the code name "Drama".
It is the first film to be nominated for the most Oscars in a given year, without getting a Best Picture nomination.
Obba Babatundé, who portrayed C.C. White in the original stage version, turned down an offer to audition for the role of Marty Madison because he disapproved of the changes the film adaptation made to the original musical.
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The film was originally planned to be a Warner Brothers release. In the early 2000s, DreamWorks was brought on-board as the U.S. distributor, with Warner Brothers initially retaining international rights. When the budget was revealed, Warner balked, and left the film, to be replaced by Paramount Pictures. During pre-production, Viacom, parent of Paramount, purchased DreamWorks, making the film wholly owned by Paramount, before it was released.
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Sheryl Lee Ralph was nominated for the 1982 Tony Award (New York City) for Actress in a Musical for "Dreamgirls".
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Cleavant Derricks won the 1982 Tony Award (New York City) for Supporting or Features Actor in a Musical for "Dreamgirls" for his role as soul singer James "Thunder" Early.
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Obba Babatundé was nominated for the 1982 Tony Award (New York City) for Supporting or Features Actor in a Musical for "Dreamgirls" for his portrayal of C.C. White.
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When James "Thunder" Early asks his band mates "Who was the first singer to start wearing shiny clothes?", one responds "Little Richard." The responder was Jimmy's piano player, who came on-stage to sit in for Jimmy when he first taught the Dreamettes the parts for "Fake your way to the top."
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Columbus Short tested for the role of C.C White.
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Cameo 

Jaleel White: The manager of the talent show at the Detroit Theater in the opening scene.
Debra Zane: Upset White Woman in Miami Beach club.
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Fatima Robinson: One of the Stepp Sisters.
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Shutchai Tym Buacharern: Drag queen with a fan during "One Night Only (Disco)" sequence.
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Durrell Babbs: One of the chorus singers for the "Patience" recording session.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

In the stage musical, James "Thunder" Early is never heard from, or seen again, after his breakdown during "I Meant You No Harm/The Rap". In the film, he dies of a heroin overdose.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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